Under the Eucalyptus Tree
#1
weeds hide in the night’s glow,
beneath the scent of eucalyptus.
burning,
like a distant memory,

her hands touch me,

she’s a lion
prowling the field for prey,

she pulls at my pants,

I’m an elk
stunned by car beams,

I didn’t want her to touch me,

she burned like a forest fire
sucking the air from my chest,

she wanted to play a game,

I stood like a toy soldier
and she threw me,

don’t tell your parents,

I slid like a razor blade
against my skin,

I was too scared to say something,

so she rotted my roots
like weeds,
buried under the eucalyptus tree.
Reply
#2
In mild to moderate critique, a few notes with generalizations below.

(06-25-2020, 08:45 AM)Introspector Wrote:  weeds hide in the night’s glow,
beneath the scent of eucalyptus.
burning,
like a distant memory,  This first stanza is evocative, and ambiguous: what's burning, weeds or memory?

her hands touch me,  The italicized, then, would be the memory.

she’s a lion                        And this would be the viewpoint's later analysis
prowling the field for prey,

she pulls at my pants,   

I’m an elk            Slight physical problem here:  elks are great big animals.  Does the viewpoint think itself large as well as shocked?
stunned by car beams,

I didn’t want her to touch me,  Interestingly switched to past tense here.  Analysis of the incident is stepping back into the present.

she burned like a forest fire  Looking back from the present in the other voice, too
sucking the air from my chest,

she wanted to play a game,  from force of nature to wicked cat-with-mouse

I stood like a toy soldier 
and she threw me,   More shady ambiguity - what, exactly, stood?  And what was tossed?

don’t tell your parents,  is this the victimizer's own voice, or the viewpoint's warning to self?

I slid like a razor blade
against my skin,  a confusing set of images, for a confusing experience

I was too scared to say something, but not too frightened to make excuses

so she rotted my roots
like weeds,
buried under the eucalyptus tree.  In addition to returning to theme, some fine wordplay suggesting "rut" and he verb to root, colloquially

This may be recounting an incident of premature sexual awakening.  If so, it's notable that the victimizer's sex is specified, but the victim's is not.

Or it could be an early experience now recounted with dissatisfaction, making excuses:  the unreliable storyteller.

On the whole, I think it's quite expressive, though some of the stanzas noted above as ambiguous don't actually quite make sense.  For example, the elk in the car lights:  stunned by revelation, but a massive animal presenting considerable danger to a car and its driver.  The rest of the work insists on the victim's powerlessness; why not a rabbit in the headlights?  Is this a hint, or was the elk chosen for sound and striking image?  If the lady (?) saw she had surprised an elk, wouldn't she try to avoid it?

Memories, especially repressed memories triggered by a scent, might not be well organized; the poem  has that feeling, of the victim(?) talking to him(?)self.  The two voices in that conversation might be kept a bit more separate, each given its own mannerisms, perhaps.

That's all I have - this is a somewhat confusing poem portraying a very confusing train of thought.  It could be made more accessible, but not excessively so.
feedback award Non-practicing atheist
Reply
#3
(06-25-2020, 08:45 AM)Introspector Wrote:  weeds hide in the night’s glow, I really want this to say "weeds high in the night's low" because that kind of multi-layered, pun-tastic, (potential) mondegreen as a first-line demands trust in the author and implies a command of the English language—a command one could have forgiven the actual poem for sadly lacking. 
beneath the scent of eucalyptus. Is "beneath" really the best preposition here? 
burning,
like a distant memory, To reiterate the previous commenter, this line is confusing. However, I assume it is a typing error and you meant to use a different punctuation mark as "burning" isn't capitalised. 

her hands touch me,

she’s a lion
prowling the field for prey, cliché.

she pulls at my pants,

I’m an elk
stunned by car beams, Again, this is a cliche. You've replaced "deer" with "elk" to possibly imply gender, but a cliche nonetheless. 

I didn’t want her to touch me,

she burned like a forest fire I kind of like this line. It's like an old 60s rock n' roll simile. 
sucking the air from my chest, 

she wanted to play a game,

I stood like a toy soldier
and she threw me,

don’t tell your parents, I had previously been reading these italics as an inner monologue (now or then) but this one is ambiguous. I like the ambiguity. 

I slid like a razor blade
against my skin, Is this a pronoun based typo? because if not, I don't get it. 

I was too scared to say something, I appreciate this is colloquial but consider "anything" instead.

so she rotted my roots
like weeds,
buried under the eucalyptus tree.
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!